It is a tradition for many families to drive around the community and see all of the Christmas lights.

There is one little court folks in Havelock should not miss.

Dane Court, almost to the end of Manchester Road, is a place not to miss.

The court was awarded the neighborhood award this year by the Havelock Appearance Commission in its annual Make Havelock Shine Christmas lighting contest.

Kenneth Round, at 102 Dane Court, is in the center of it all. 

“We do a lot. It’s a family tradition,” said Round, who was recently presented with the Joyce Blackburn Award, the most prestigious of the awards handed out each year.

“My father used to light up the whole neighborhood and kind of ran Santa Claus out of his garage and it kind of just grew from there,” said Round. “He passed away many years ago and I just kind of carried on the tradition.”

Some of the bag lights that encircle the Round yard were his father’s and and were passed down.

“Of course I have bought some of my own,” Round said. “We have added a little bit every year. This year we added some trees and some figures, changing over to LEDs, added some more bag lights, some reindeer.”

Round had some many lights that he gave a young Marine family several strands of white lights and about three strands of the colored lights so they could put some out on the their house and in the yard.

The Hicks and the Meister families on either side of Round got into the act too, almost forming a competition. 

Round has spent hours out there each night dressed as Santa Claus handing out candy canes and greeting motorists as they drive up.

Round said it took only about two days to set up the lights.

“Bag lights take the longest because it’s bending over and putting the lights into the frame and then staking them to the ground and coming back and putting bags over tops of them,” said Round.

Round will retire on December 31 after more than 30 years in the Marine Corps. He was the aviation ordnance chief for the 2ndMarine Aircraft Wing working out of the general’s building at Cherry Point. 

Through the years he’s been served in Havelock, California, Beaufort, Pennsylvania, Norfolk, aboard ship two years, Atlanta, Japan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Puerto Rico, and the Mediterranean.

Other winners in the Make Havelock Shine contest include Denise Coutu, 308 MacDonald Blvd, Religious Theme, Jeff Fedyna, 104 Catbird Lane, Techno Theme, Terri Black, 416 Fox Hunt Lane, Children's Theme, Ashley Wright, 114 Legacy Lane, and Kimberly Wheeler, 115 Legacy Lane, Carolina Christmas, Elite Auto Sales, Business, and Honorable Mention to Hollie Bacchus, of 807 Ironwood Drive.